This past week I was on retreat at Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro, Arkansas. I made several personal discoveries, which I shared with the sisters and they helped solidify and expound on them. I was at the end of making my consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary and I was reading a fantastic manual for preparation published by Saint Benedict Center in Still River, Massachusetts. The Manual had scriptural readings paired with various daily prayers and excerpts from The Imitation of Christ, and various writings by Saint Louis de Montfort.
I learned a lot about the relationship between Mary and the Holy Trinity. Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. WHAT? In the Apostle’s Creed we say “…Jesus Christ, His only son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary…” I’ve been saying this prayer for years, yeah sure the Holy Spirit came to Mary I just didn’t realize the spousal connection they have. SMC explained to me that I could learn about the Spirit through Mary. Also the connection between the Father and the Son, or the love they share, is the Holy Spirit. This love is a constantly moving circle going from the Father to the Son and back again from the Son to the Father. Through the Spirit you will come to know the Father and the Son.
By reading scripture there is a lot we can learn about the Son but not so much about the Father right? Wrong. I was struggling with understanding the Father until SG reminded me that in John chapter 14 Jesus says “Now that you have known me, you will know my Father also, and from now on you do know Him and you have seen Him.” So we read about Jesus and we learn to know the Father.
Okay, so the Spirit helps to enlighten us in our understanding. One way that SMC taught me this past week is called Lectio Divina. What you do is read a scriptural passage, then say a prayer to the Spirit asking for understanding. Whatever jumps out at you in the passage you then meditate on for thirty minutes.
Like this Passage from John chapter 14 :
Last Supper Discourses.
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. 4Where [I] am going you know the way.” 5Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Read it through as many times as it take for something to jump out. For me, I saw immediately “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” So I would then think about this. Through these meditations I realized, God loves me, Jesus loves me and I am worthy. He died to save me. He wants me to come to Him. Jesus is my best friend, He knows my deepest secrets, my deepest regrets and He loves me. Not in spite of the bad and the ugly but WITH the bad and the ugly. He sees that I am working on my issues and I am striving for Him and His kingdom.
Many of you have been asking if I am going to be a nun. Good question! I have no idea. When the time is right the Holy Spirit will enlighten me and I will know my vocation whether it is married life, religious life, or something else. I just ask that you pray for me as I go through this journey.
I know I didn’t really explain Total Consecration to Mary but I will next post!